Ovations 2017 Vol 12

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COLFA

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THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS VOLUME 12 2017 MUSLIMS IN THE UNITED STATES 12

BEXAR COUNTY"S TRICENTENNIAL 18

2017 MELLON PATHWAYS PROGRAM 28

R E S E A RCH | T EACHI NG | CR E ATI V I TY | O UTR E ACH

METAPHORS THAT SEETHE Page 8

BRAVE, NEW WWWORLD

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OPPORTUNITIES IN COLFA

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W E L C OM E T O

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GEOPOLITICS IN THE DIGITAL AGE

U TSA CO L L E G E O F L I B E R A L A N D F I N E A RTS Daniel J. Gelo Dean

Steven Levitt

Associate Dean Undergraduate Studies and Curriculum

Raquel Marquez Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies

Augustine Osman Associate Dean Faculty Support

Deborah D. Thomas

Assistant to the Dean / Editor

Judith Lipsett Copy Editor

Eleazar Hernández/Creative Culture Design

Alexis Haight, Lindsey Hall, Stephanie Schoellman Contributors

Oralia Vasquez Photography

Frank Segura

Production Coordinator

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As the College of Liberal and Fine Arts helps prepare UTSA students for life and work, there is no more important objective than making sure that each of our graduates is an able communicator. And in the ever-shrinking world, this means the ability to formulate and express clear ideas in a variety of media and to a multitude of audiences. Since its first iteration fifteen years ago, the COLFA Strategic Plan has as one of its three primary objectives “Excellence in Cross-Cultural Communication.” As an anthropologist, I can attest that bounded cultures exist wherever we can define them. Not only nation-states and ethnic groups, but regions, professions, corporations, hospitals, school districts and, yes, even universities, have their own distinct patterns of thought and behavior. It is not enough to speak, write or create art with precision; these expressions must register at their intended cultural destinations. So we teach students not only the mechanics of communication, but also to understand the thoughts and behaviors of fellow humans, and how to continue developing these capabilities throughout their lifetimes. Right now cultural literacy and cultural intelligence are becoming prominent themes in higher education, so I am proud that our college has long led in this realm. COLFA’s goal of fostering cross-cultural communication remains special, with its emphasis on action and interaction. A look across our disciplines confirms the college’s commitment. Art, classics, philosophy, history, and literature transmit accumulated knowledge about communicative forms and the human experience over time, and teach us the consequences of mistaken communication. Music may or may not truly be a universal language, but it is potent nonetheless. Anthropology, communication, psychology and sociology look specifically at cultural variation and the role of the individual in a culture. And there are many pragmatic applications. Our public health, medical humanities, and health communication curricula prepare a very large number of majors for careers in cross-cultural settings, as does our program in Spanish translation studies. Adding to these, our many study-abroad opportunities, and the diversity of our faculty and student body, ensure continuing excellence in cross-cultural communication.

(for arts events information) www.colfa.utsa.edu

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ENCOURAGING LATINOS IN A CHANGING WORLD

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NEW PROGRAM IN COLFA

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ALUMNI PROFILE: MIMI D. FRANCES

MEDICAL HUMANITIES

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METAPHORS TO SEETHE BY

STUDENT PROFILE: LINDA MCNULTY

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MUSLIMS IN THE UNITED STATES

AWARDS AND ACCOLADES

The pages that follow give more evidence of COLFA’s success in pursuing this important goal. And we always remember that this success is only possible with the help of all those who contribute their time, talent and treasure for the education of our students.

College of Liberal and Fine Arts One UTSA Circle MH 4.01.23 San Antonio, TX 78249-0641 (210) 458-4350 (210) 458-ARTS

RETRACING THE STEPS OF 19TH-CENTURY EXPLORERS IN THE YUCATAN

DA N IE L J. G E LO Dean Stumberg Distinguished University Chair

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26

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LATINO REPRESENTATIVES AND POLITICAL INCORPORATION

BEXAR COUNTY’S TRICENTENNIAL

UTSA GUITAR QUARTET TOURS CUBA

FACULTY BOOKS

HAPPY 300th BIRTHDAY!

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BRAVE,

BRAVE, NEW WWWORLD

NEW

WWWORLD

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Geopolitics in the Digital Age

In the minute it took to pick up this magazine and flip to this story, 3.8 million Google searches were conducted, nearly 66,000 photos were uploaded to Instagram, 3.3 million Facebook updates were posted, and about 150,000 emails were sent to their recipients. This World Wide Web reality is changing at the speed of broadband, collapsing, shifting and redefining geographies, identities and communities—who we accept as Us and who we identify as Other, locally and globally.

by: Stephanie Schoellman UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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The speedy dissemination of information makes organizing

However, as the IMF explains

flash mobs possible, but also more profound pursuits,

on its website, and as the

such as instigating the Arab Spring and rallying social

populist movement illustrates,

justice activism like #blacklivesmatter. It also has spurred

“globalization offers extensive

globalization onward. The International Monetary Fund

opportunities for truly worldwide

(IMF) describes globalization as a process by which

development, but it is not

economies, cultures and governments around the world are

progressing evenly.” Hestres offers

increasingly integrated as “the result of human innovation

the gentrification of San Francisco

and technological progress.” Mass communication and

as an example of what he calls the

technology bring people together across nation-state

“social dislocations” resulting from

boundaries and oceans; however, this global clambake is not

the digital revolution. Dot-com

universally appreciated. Ironically, the same technology has

millionaires are replacing longtime

allowed populists and their anti-globalization message to

residents who can no longer afford

galvanize an audience worldwide.

the astronomical living expenses of

While populist movements have cropped up throughout

Thus, the brave new reality cultivated in part by the World

history, says Boyka Stefanova, associate professor in the

Wide Web includes populists’ ethnocentric and xenophobic

political science and geography department at UTSA, “this

attitudes: border wall rhetoric and anti-immigrant platforms.

time populism is indeed global,” largely due to the internet’s

As Stefanova observes, “Today’s populists are dangerously

ability to fuse previously fragmented groups into a Tweeting,

close to government. Radical right and populist politics are

Instagramming, YouTube-viewing, Facebook-posting virtual

no longer a residual category in electoral competition—a

presence that is also having an impact in the voting booth.

protest vote that represents a niche in the electoral market.

Stefanova asserts that “populist manipulation over global issues is at the origin of dissatisfaction with the national

the country and the world, as highly educated professionals reap the benefits of the information economy while the less educated continue to fall behind.”

LUIS E. HESTRES ASSISTANT PROFESSOR DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION

Social dislocation is only one of

creates a new politics.”

the downsides of the explosive

environments have also become breeding grounds for antisocial

growth of the internet. As Hestres

behavior, such as trolling and cyberbullying that target the

points out, “Massive connectivity

most vulnerable among us.” A Twitter campaign by Caroline

has bred an endlessly creative and

Criado-Perez to make Jane Austen the new face of the British

amusing online culture that has

ten-pound bill, for example, generated rape and death threats

given us everything from cat videos

against her in 2013. (Regardless of the threats, the campaign was

to memes to bad lip readings and

successful.)

Luis E. Hestres, assistant professor in the department of

the ‘silent’ majority at home and instead favors distant

communication at UTSA, adds that “the invention of the

causes and alien minorities.” Marine Le Pen, the populist

World Wide Web and the opening of the internet to the

presidential candidate in France’s latest election,

general public were supposed to bring about a utopian

encapsulated these sentiments when she stated, “The

era of human communication.” According to Hestres, this

dividing line is not between left and right but globalists and

“global village” was predicted to heal Cold War-era fissures

patriots.”

by fostering “greater mutual understanding among cultures

competition have brought about an ever-growing cohort

dislocations occur throughout

Populists’ proximity to government and policy influence

government that allegedly disregards the preferences of

Stefanova explains that “automation, technology and global

the area. He observes that “similar

“…the invention of the World Wide Web and the opening of the internet to the general public were supposed to bring about a utopian era of human communication.” PAGE 5

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everything in between. But online Even though misinformation (i.e., “fake news”), hacking,

that would bridge enormous distances in every sense of the

and government censorship are concerns in the digital realm

word.”

that translate into real-world consequences, Hestres argues that it’s too soon, in a historical sense, to fully comprehend

of ‘globalization losers’,” those who feel they have been

These predictions have been borne out, up to a point.

disenfranchised by economic developments and seek a

Technological developments have inspired and enabled

source to blame. These “globalization losers” are, as she puts

productive collaborations. As reported by Co-Society,

it, “susceptible to populist messages that intend to replace

a business network platform based in Barcelona, the

globalization and cosmopolitanism with the ethnocentric

popularization of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has

politics of resentment of all things global.”

been an education equalizer: Harvard University and MIT, for

What we do know is that anyone reading this who is 28 years

example, partnered to create edX, a non-profit organization

old or younger has not existed in a world without the influence

that offers free online courses to anyone with internet access.

of the World Wide Web. Furthermore, anyone under 34 has

And without virtual meeting capabilities and the technology

grown up with the concept of globalization (Theodore Levitt

to organize 3,000 scientists and 182 institutions in 38

popularized the term in a 1983 publication), and knowingly or

countries, the ATLAS experiment, a particle physics project

unknowingly witnessed, benefited and/or been marginalized by

taking place in one of the most complex machines ever built

the global exchange. As Hestres states, “We might indeed be at

to date, would not have been possible.

the threshold of a wondrous age in human communication or

how the internet affects the globe for better or worse. “It took centuries for the true political, social, economic and cultural consequences of the invention of the printing press to be clearly understood,” he adds.

standing at the edge of an abyss. It is simply too early to tell.”

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New Program in COLFA – Medical Humanities

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The history of medical humanities can be traced back to the 1970s, when a growing chorus of voices raised concerns about the training of physicians and medical practitioners. While medical schools were producing technically competent physicians, doctors were finding that their training was poor preparation for the realities of clinical practice. Knowing how to diagnose cancer was one thing; knowing how to break the news to a dying patient was something else. Awash in the emotional, ethical and interpersonal complexity of clinical medicine, medical practitioners discovered that technical skills were only a part of what it took to be a successful healthcare provider. In the last four decades, medical humanists have become

distinct tracks: a pre-medical track and a pre-health careers

well established in medical schools. The move to pre-medical

track. UTSA is now one of only 16 universities in the United

education has been somewhat slower, however, but recent years

States that offer students the opportunity to major in medical

have seen significant growth in baccalaureate-level medical

humanities. Though only in its third year, the program is already

humanities education. At the start of the 1990s, there were only

the largest of its type in the nation.

six baccalaureate medical humanities programs in the United States; there are now upwards of sixty.

Students who major in medical humanities can expect to receive an education that is a balance of the natural sciences, the social

The proliferation of these programs reflects the realization that

sciences and the humanities. Graduates of the program will

the development of well-rounded healthcare providers must

not only understand the biology and chemistry behind illness,

start prior to post-graduate education. This recognition has been

but they will also gain insight into the social determinants of

codified in the Association of American Medical Colleges’ core

health and gain an appreciation for the non-quantifiable traits

competencies, which establish national standards regarding

that distinguish a mere medical technician from a true healer. A

expectations for incoming medical students. Of 15 competencies,

background in the medical humanities leaves students uniquely

11 emphasize the humanistic aspects of healing.

positioned to pursue a wide variety of careers in the health

This is why, in the 2015-2016 academic year, COLFA introduced a new major in medical humanities. The major includes two

professions and allied fields, including health administration, medicine, dentistry, medical sales and pharmacy.

by: Abraham Graber UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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It is the first week of the semester, and you arrive a responsible 30 minutes before class. A couple of deer graze on the lawn, and the car smells like breakfast tacos and mint-condition textbooks. A line of cars has formed on UTSA Boulevard, but you aren’t worried. by: Alistair Welchman and Stephanie Schoellman UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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During the first lap around the lots, you

1976). The resulting course attracted

keep your cool, tapping your fingers

students in philosophy, linguistics and

optimistically on the steering wheel to

anthropology, and examined where

your Spotify mix. Turning down the music

mind and body intersect, exploring

to better concentrate, willing an open

the question: Are humans “beings-in-

parking slot into existence, the next two

the-world or computational machines

unsuccessful circles make you simmer.

separated off from it?” One way that

Soon you begin to get hot under the collar,

humans

but after stalking a fellow Roadrunner to

metaphors that reflect our embodiment.

her vehicle in commuter parking (next to Siberia, but nevertheless, you still are brimming with gratitude), an opportunist whips into the space before you. You, understandably, boil over and let off steam with a series of creative hand gestures.

frame

reality

is

through

Metaphors are not just literary devices; they are also tools for structuring our experience and understanding of the world. Take the phrase, “time is money,” for instance, and the corresponding metaphors that treat time as money,

Obama’s 2010 speeches, which presented the

human beings to conceptualize time; it is

economy as a vehicle and economic progress as

tied to our culture.” In this way, Lakoff and

driving along a road. Obama’s analogy, which

Johnson further observe, metaphors are

was received with laughter and applause by his

“not just matters of intellect” because “they

audience, reached a climax with this metaphor:

govern our everyday functioning.” Thus, we

“So after [the GOP] drove the car into the ditch,

do, literally, live by metaphors.

made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it

But when you relay this tale to the

such as “be careful how you spend your

To demonstrate how many metaphors are

professor, barely able to contain your

time.” George Lakoff and Mark Johnson,

fundamentally corporeal, Welchman and

(legitimate) righteous indignation while

authors of Metaphors We Live By (1980),

Short analyzed transcripts of President

explaining the reason that you’re late for class, why do you use pressure and sensory metaphors to describe these abstract

feelings

of

exasperation?

Alistair Welchman, associate professor of philosophy, and William Michael Short, associate professor of classics, explain

back, now they want the keys back. No! You

President Barak Obama

can’t drive! We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch! We just got the car out!” This economic metaphor became a theme for many of his speeches during the midterm elections. One of the

This more tactile and pragmatic approach to philosophy

reasons that metaphors make memorable and effective

goes back to how we relate to the world and make sense of

rhetoric is their concreteness, which, Welchman argues,

it. As Welchman contends, “We see the world first of all in

is derived “from the lived experiences of our embodied

terms of know-how, not knowledge that remains ether. So

selves.” They add a physical quality to abstractions like the

abstract language is based on embodied concrete language,

economy and political ideology.

and concrete language is itself founded on embodied practical engagement.”

that you do so because our language and

Welchman also notes that “perhaps abstractions are

thought are fundamentally embodied.

represented exclusively using metaphors of embodiment

For further reading on the philosophy behind “embodied-

so that we actually do not possess a non-metaphorical

embedded” cognitive science, Welchman recommends

way of talking about them: I just explained Obama’s

Michael Wheeler’s Reconstructing the Cognitive World (MIT

speech as a metaphor for economic progress; but

2006). Thanks to Brackenridge funds, Professor Wheeler

‘progress’ is a metaphor too, where forward motion is

was a guest lecturer in Welchman and Short’s class.

Welchman, and

German

specializing philosophy,

in

French

and

Short,

specializing in Latin language, explored the connections between linguistics and

understood as positive.”

cognition in their co-taught Fall 2016 course,

In “Deleuze and the Enaction of Non-Sense,” a chapter in

Embodied in Thought and Language. Their

Welchman explains how Lakoff’s metaphor theory and

the book Enactive Cognition at the Edge of Sense-Making,

interdisciplinary

combined

German philosophy mesh in his and Short’s class, saying,

Short, Wilson H. Shearin, and Welchman recount Lakoff and

Short’s interest in interpretive theories of

“It is a part of a general approach to cognitive science

Johnson’s view that “our capacity to ‘make sense’ through

texts with Welchman’s interest in German

that emphasizes the embodied nature of cognition as a

language depends fundamentally not only on images and

philosopher

whole: embodied thought and language.” This integration,

metaphor, but also on emotions and certain felt qualities of

as Welchman describes it, is the application of Martin

our bodily interaction with the world.” The way in which we

Heidegger’s criticism of philosophy in Being and Time (1927),

describe our abstract emotions is grounded in our flesh-and-

namely that “philosophers have been too theoretical about

blood experiences as well as our culture. So next time you’re

human experience.” Welchman elucidates this argument,

seething while trying to park in the Bauerle Road garage to

saying, “He shows that our interaction with things in the

avoid being late, and feel that you just might flip your lid

world is at base practical: We ‘know’ the hammer better by

when paying the fee, remember that you are practicing

using it than in a theoretical account of it. Things, in his

embodiment by encapsulating thought and language in the

technical vocabulary, are not limply and passively ‘at hand’;

skin of metaphor.

approach

Martin

Heidegger

(1889-

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note that “this isn’t a necessary way for

“No! You can’t drive! We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch! We just got the car out!”

they are instead ‘to-hand,’ or one might say ‘hands-on’.”

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★ I N T H E U N I T E D S TAT E S ★ The number of American Muslims is miniscule in comparison to the nation’s population, yet they have been here since the formation of the United States. Many of the Spaniards who arrived in the Western hemisphere were Muslims, as were a quarter to a third of all African slaves brought to the Americas. Most if not all were forced to convert to Christianity. According to several Pew survey reports published between 2007 and 2017, approximately 3.3 million Muslims currently live in the United States, which translates to roughly one percent of the population. Of these, African American Muslims make up approximately 20 percent. Other native-born Muslims make up another 15 percent, and the remaining 65 percent are foreign born. The community is ethnically and racially diverse, perhaps the most diverse of communities in the United States. Arabs make up 25 percent and the remaining 40 percent comprises individuals hailing from the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Iran, Europe, Africa and other areas of the world. In total, Muslims represent nearly 80 countries. And although many in the community are relatively new arrivals to the United States, the data indicate that they are highly assimilated into American society.

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The Islamic faith values education and knowledge and mandates that its followers seek both from birth to grave. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, instructed his followers to set free any captive captured after battle if he or she could teach ten illiterate Muslims how to read and write. Education levels among American Muslims confirm that the importance and priority of seeking knowledge continues today, with Muslims placing 12th among 30 U.S. religious groups in a study conducted by the Pew Research Center. The American Muslim community has a greater proportion of its members with university degrees than the general population. This is even more evident among Muslim women, who hold more graduate and postgraduate degrees than their male counterparts.

working outside the home. This contrasts sharply with the views and the status of women in the majority of Muslim countries, where there are restrictions on women’s education and choice of employment. American Muslim women have become a model to follow for greater gender equality in Muslim societies. What is certain is that the American Muslim community is middle class, is overall better educated than most Americans, and has low levels of poverty and unemployment.

Muslims in the U.S. support women achieving advanced education and

The Muslim community’s biggest task is to educate their fellow Americans

Muslims reside all over America. There are one or two areas, such as Dearborn, Michigan, where their numbers are disproportionately large, but they settled in all parts of the country, and, like other Americans, go where their work takes them.

about them and their religion, and that takes time and effort. The United States has provided Muslims with an opportunity to create a renaissance and develop their religion by eliminating idiosyncratic scripture interpretation that has been added to it since the twelfth century. They can do this without compromising the basic tenets of their faith because Islam is truly a religion of peace and forgiveness. It is a religion of migration and personal choice. It has no formal clergy, no saints and no saviors, and people are judged by their actions, goodness, character, charity, helping others, telling the truth, chastity, commitment to vows and doing justice, and most important, commitment to moderation. The attempt to educate appears to be well underway at American universities, where Muslim student organizations have been very active in portraying a different face of Islam from what is presented by hate groups and hostile media. A case in point is UTSA, which has seen a phenomenal rise in the number of students from the Islamic world.

The Muslim Students Association (MSA) at UTSA has worked diligently to overcome stereotyping and any latent hostility among students. It has succeeded in acquiring a place on campus where Muslim students can conduct their daily prayer, and it has also been active by inviting interesting speakers to discuss a host of topics of interest on issues of the day and discuss what unites rather than divides. The tolerance exhibited by the UTSA community has encouraged the MSA to actively participate in student life and demonstrate that contrary to the hatemongers’ messages and different belief systems, we all really do want to live in peace. Additionally, the College of Liberal and Fine Arts is doing its share in educating students. Arabic language classes are offered by the Department of Modern Languages, courses on Islamic history, culture, women and sociology are offered by a host of departments. The college can be credited with undertaking a serious attempt at promoting an understanding of all cultures in our world.

by: Mansour El-Kikhia

Every community in the United States has experienced discrimination and has learned from it. Ask African Americans, who lost over 20 million souls during slavery. Ask Jews about the discrimination they faced, ask the Chinese, Italians, Irish, Poles and Latinos about discrimination and stereotyping. They all lived through it and impacted American culture. American Muslims will do the same. Ten years ago most Americans outside the main cities had no idea what shawarma, hummus, falafel or couscous were. Today the proliferation of Middle Eastern restaurants has introduced these dishes to America, and very soon they will be as American as pizza or Chinese food has become.

Dr. Mansour O. El-Kikhia is a Professor of Political Science at UTSA. He has served as an educator, a columnist, and a diplomat. His area of expertise is International Relations and Comparative Politics with an emphasis on the Middle East. He has written extensively as well as interviewed on the topic on local and international media.

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surprisingly, many Latinos in Congress again expected their issues, including immigration reform, to be a priority for the new Democratic administration. But immigration reform was again set aside in favor of other concerns, most notably the Affordable Care Act.

M E E T I N G

O U R

D E M O C R A C Y ’ S

L A T I N O

R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

A N D

L ATIN O POLITICAL INCORPORATION

Eleven years ago, massive immigrant protests swept the nation. Millions of mostly Latino participants were upset by the passage of a bill (HR 4437) in the U.S. House of Representatives that sought to make undocumented presence in the U.S. a felony. The demonstrations revealed an unprecedented level of political engagement in the Latino community. They also raised compelling questions about whether this groundswell of popular energy could translate into congressional representation. That fall, the 2006 elections returned Democrats to the congressional majority for the first time in 12 years. It seemed like a turning point for Latino policy priorities. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were optimistic that they would lead the push for comprehensive immigration reform, and viewed bipartisan collaboration with the president as a distinct possibility. But the initiative foundered as the

Democratic leadership chose to pursue other priorities and to avoid endangering members from competitive districts by forcing them to take tough votes on immigration reform. The outcome of the 2008 presidential election, particularly in states like Florida and New Mexico, was credited in large part to the electoral participation of Latinos. Not

Although politics on issues like immigration have seesawed wildly in the past decade, and our political leaders express wide-ranging opinions about Latinos and immigrants, these events and attitudes appear increasingly united by a common observation: Latinos have enormous potential as a force in American politics. Latinos are frequently referred to as a “sleeping giant” in the electoral sense. Books with titles like Brown Tide Rising evoke the sense that Latino population growth is an irresistible force that will reshape the American political landscape. And given the enduring loyalty of about two out of every three Latino voters to the Democratic Party, political demographers such as Ruy Teixeira argue that Latinos are critical to an emerging Democratic majority. But how inevitable is the emergence of Latino political power? And what will this emergence look like? I explore these questions in my book, From Inclusion to Influence: Latino Representation in Congress and Latino Political Incorporation in America, which illustrates how this process works, and pays special attention to the role played by Latino representatives in Congress. In achieving inclusion and influence in elections, Latinos face barriers in terms of education, affluence and language, and they are less likely to be mobilized by political campaigns because of these factors. Policies like Texas’ effort to require that voters present a photo ID in

concerns in the sense that they are part of the larger policy dialogue on most major issues before the House of Representatives. Yes, immigration is a critical one, but Latino representatives

Today there are 36 Latino members of Congress—about 6 percent of the body. – WALTER CLARK WILSON

districts while amplifying the relative impact of Anglo votes. Overcoming these barriers requires both that Latinos continue to work for and demand political and social equality, and that relatively privileged groups recognize Latinos as equals with a legitimate role to play in our democracy. The same struggles play out in Congress. Today there are 36 Latino members of Congress—about 6 percent of the body. That’s a significant increase from 20 years ago when Latino representatives numbered only 20, and a huge leap from the early 1980s, when Latinos numbered in the single digits. Although there’s a long way to go before Latinos have representation in Congress proportionate to their share of the population, Latino members of Congress are already helping to transform the institution in ways that promise to enhance the inclusion and influence of Latino interests in making public policy. The role Latino representatives play in promoting Latino incorporation starts with connecting Latinos to their government. My research shows that Latino representatives communicate with their Latino constituents in ways that help to include them and their interests in the policy-making process: they prioritize Latino concerns, emphasize how policies impact Latinos, and make clear that they take this growing constituency seriously. The same patterns are evident in their conduct as legislators. Largely because of Latino representatives, Latino concerns are now American

are also representing Latino educational, health, participation, language, economic and other interests as they sponsor bills, make speeches and debate in committees. As they ensure the inclusion of Latinos in the policy process, they are also helping to increase the legitimacy of this constituency in the eyes of non-Latino legislators. And by working together, they are amplifying the influence of Latinos as a political force. It would be easy to dismiss the impact of Latino representatives in the current political environment. After all, Latino priorities are unlikely to be the priorities of the current Congress or presidential administration. However, such a conclusion would be short-sighted. Political incorporation is a process, not an event. Just as previous waves of new Americans from Europe achieved inclusion and influence gradually, the pathway to Latino political incorporation will likely be marked by a slow ascendency and many temporary recessions. The analogy of the rising tide is fitting, as waves of success advance and recede, but continue to push Latino interests higher on the American political agenda. From a democratic perspective, which emphasizes the fundamental equality of all participants, this is essential to the very survival of our form of government. Past experience with political incorporation in America tells us that this rising tide, like its predecessors, will lift all boats.

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Immigration reform efforts regained their position on the congressional policy agenda after Democrats lost their majority in 2010. The U.S. Senate passed a sweeping bipartisan immigration overhaul in 2013, only to see it abandoned by House Republicans on partisan grounds.

order to vote are also likely to depress Latino participation. Gerrymandering in states like Texas diminishes Latino influence by packing Latinos and other minorities into a small number of

by: Walter Clark Wilson UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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EXCITING STUDENT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES IN COLFA

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COLFA students have an extraordinary variety of programs available to them that offer learning experiences outside of the traditional classroom. This year alone, students in anthropology, archeology and art history marveled at the wonders of ancient Mayan civilizations; a quartet of guitar students visited Cuba in a whirlwind five-day tour; and, on the home front, students used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to map early settlement in Bexar county for the Bexar Heritage and Parks Department. Here we profile these three educational adventures:

UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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MAPPING

BEXAR

COUNTY’S

the myriad geographical features of regions

the elevation of the terrain demonstrates

large and small. This form of spatial analysis

how the physical layout of the system was

has also become an increasingly critical

dictated by the landscape. When we display

component in the workings of businesses

the early roads we can also see how the

and governmental agencies. Today’s GIS

twists and turns of major thoroughfares

maps provide precise locations for streets,

like St. Mary’s or Flores streets followed the

sewers, buildings and subdivisions, and

paths set by the acequias.

they can also summon up information about the owners, sizes or other characteristics of these structures. In the same way, historians and archaeologists can apply GIS to old maps to locate long-lost features of the landscape, attach historical attributes to spatial data, and tell a story.

In

anticipation

anniversary

of

of the

next

year’s

founding

of

300th San

Antonio de Béjar, the Bexar Heritage and Parks Department has contracted with The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Department of History and the anthropology department’s Center for Archaeological

invested heavily in GIS in recent years with the creation of a dedicated lab and the recruitment of able practitioners such as CAR’s Nowlin and geographer Nazgol Bagheri. The existence of this technological infrastructure and support made it possible

The 1912 Rullman map of landholdings in

for me to offer an interdisciplinary graduate

Bexar County in 1836, for example, can

course in Spring 2017 in which students

be used to trace the early farms (suertes)

helped gather data and images and integrate

located between San Pedro Creek and the

these into a set of web pages using ESRI’s

San Antonio River. It can also reveal the

Story Map application. Julie Brown, Jessica

property’s owner over a specific time frame,

Ceeko, Thomas Holdsworth, Mary Ledbetter-

its acreage, water rights and even the crops

Gallagher, Jason Lilienthal and William Scott

or livestock found there. The display features

consulted old maps, deeds, census records

built into GIS make it possible to view

and other primary sources to reconstruct

geographical characteristics in a variety of

local landholding patterns. In lieu of the

formats that can instantly reveal patterns

conventional research paper, they reported

and relationships. One vital component

their findings using “Story Map” software

of the early farms along the San Antonio

designed for display on the internet. In May

River was the network of irrigation canals

the students presented their research to a

(acequias) that supplied precious water

scholarly audience at the second annual

to parched, summer fields in a hot, semi-

Tricentennial Symposium hosted by Bexar

arid environment. When we plot the area’s

County. The project continues into the fall

acequia system in conjunction with the farms

of 2017, when the maps, data and associated

we can see how critical this network was to

Story Map applications will be turned over to

the local economy: no acequias, no farms.

the county for display on the web.

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In May 1718 an expedition of Spanish soldiers, settlers and missionaries concluded their long journey from the Rio Grande to the lush spring that is the headwaters of San Pedro Creek. For 10,000 years this spring and the spring at the head of the San Antonio River had drawn Native Americans to fish, hunt and gather an abundance of edible plants. The presidio and Villa de Béjar as well as the San Antonio de Valero mission that the Spanish established near these water sources were the predecessors to what are now Bexar County and the City of San Antonio.

The College of Liberal and Fine Arts has

Similarly, a map pairing the acequias with

Research (CAR) to design a set of websites to better acquaint the public with the region’s long and engrossing prehistoric and historic past. Archaeologists Clinton McKenzie, Jessica Nowlin and I collaborated on a series of projects making use of Geographic Information Systems software (GIS) to fashion interactive maps documenting early settlement patterns in the San Antonio river valley. In recent years scholars in numerous disciplines have turned to GIS to explore

by: John Reynolds UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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UTSA STUDENTS RETRACE THE STEPS OF 19TH-CENTURY EXPLORERS IN THE YUCATAN

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On October 9, 1841, American diplomat and travel writer John L. Stephens, together with British artist Frederick Catherwood, boarded the steamship Tennessee in New York harbor for the port of Sisal in the Yucatan. Tantalized by vague reports of intricately sculpted stones buried deep within the Central American jungle, they hoped to find evidence of a great and as-yet-unknown ancient civilization that could rival those of Greece, Rome, China and Egypt. Despite the risks they faced—malaria, dehydration, civil wars and starvation—their brave exploits paved the way for modern archaeologists, art historians and epigraphers. The two explorers identified and documented 44 ancient cities previously known only to locals. Their travels resulted in the first archaeological photographs produced in Spanish America, and their discoveries paved the way for 20thcentury intellectual breakthroughs, including the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphs. Most important, Stephens and Catherwood were the first to grasp the magnitude of the Maya ruins they found, which they understood to be ancient, sophisticated and interconnected.

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by Juliet Wiersema and M. Kathryn Brown UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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Nearly 200 years later, undergraduate and graduate students at The University of Texas at San Antonio retraced Stephens and Catherwood’s steps as part of our co-taught spring 2017 course “In the Footsteps of the Early

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Photos Next Page: (Top) UTSA students reenact the Maya ball game in an ancient court at Ek Balam. (Right Top) Students at Temple of the Seven Dolls at Dzibilchaltun. (Right Center) All in! UTSa students dive into cenote at Dzibilchaltun. (Right Bottom) Nathan and Elizabeth discussing Temple of the Magiician at Uxmal.

Maya Explorers.” In place of the camera lucida, tripod, sextant, compass, gun and gun powder spirited Roadrunners stuffed their suitcases

discipline of art history. Through this model,

with the tools of 21st-century exploration:

art and art history students questioned process

sunscreen,

shorts

and materials and parsed iconography while

and iPhones. For the week of spring break,

anthropology students mused over the power

students applied what they had learned in

dynamics between sites. This interdisciplinary

the UTSA classroom to the Maya ruins they

classroom

now explored firsthand. They marveled at the

pronounced in the Yucatan: At archaeological

complex architectural facades of the Puuc

ruins and on bus trips, students intellectually

sites, decoded hieroglyphic inscriptions and

engaged with their peers about the sites and

made historical and cultural connections of

architecture they were experiencing for the

their own.

first time.

sunglasses,

swimsuits,

dialogue

became

even

more

Our goal was to empower students to learn

One unique aspect of this immersive experience

about the ancient Maya civilization from three

was the opportunity for undergraduates to learn

complementary avenues: primary sources,

from graduate students, many of whom had

distinct disciplinary perspectives, and hands-

already undertaken archaeological research at

on experience. By using Stephens’ Incidents

Maya sites and had applied, successfully, for

of Travel in Yucatan (1843) as our course text,

research grants. Zoe Rawski, one of the PhD

students were introduced to ancient Maya

students on the trip, was recently named a

sites through the account of their initial

National Geographic Young Explorer, a title that

discovery. With the aim of encouraging

inspired awe among undergraduates. As our bus

students to expand their knowledge base and

made its way to the large and impressive ancient

their ability to see the world in more nuanced

city of Uxmal, we announced that Christian

and holistic ways, we taught the course from

Sheumaker, another anthropology PhD student,

the empirically driven field of anthropology

had just received a highly competitive National

and the aesthetically and visually driven

Science

Foundation

Graduate

Fellowship

award. This news met with thunderous applause from his peers.

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toted by Stephens and Catherwood, these

Some of the most eye-opening moments came from walking through the Maya sites, where students were able to compare their own observations with those made by Stephens and Catherwood. For example, at Uxmal, Stephens was fascinated by what he described as “two great parallel edifices that did not contain any apartments.” As he rightly surmised, he had stumbled upon the remains of an ancient ball court! UTSA students were quick to identify these structures and even staged a mock game at the court of Ek Balam (photo). On a moonlit evening in Merida, they marveled as skilled ball players hurled a heavy rubber ball in a reenactment on the steps of the cathedral.

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O VAT I O N S

Another first for UTSA students were the

importance of preserving our collective cultural

cenotes, or subterranean wells, which double

heritage. Miranda Martinez, an anthropology

as pristine swimming holes for overheated

student, heard Yucatec Mayan being spoken by

explorers. Like Stephens and Catherwood,

schoolchildren in a local museum, which led to

the students could not have anticipated the

her interest in the revitalization of language and

pure exultation brought about by swimming

tradition in this area. Meanwhile, Mairin Derk,

in a cenote. Stephens described the cenote as

struck by the stark difference between well-

an “unexpected spectacle of extraordinary

manicured sites packed with tourists (Chichén

beauty… the very creation of romance, a bathing

Itzá) and more rustic and only partially

place for Diana and her nymphs.” At the cenote

excavated sites devoid of visitors (Oxkintok),

Xlacah at Dzibilchaltun, the students waded

was determined to investigate the factors that

through lily pads and commingled with schools

shape tourism and archaeological preservation.

of fish. At a cenote near the ancient city of

For some, the course challenged them to think

Mayapan, the students showed their school

outside of their own cultural framework and

spirit and their agility in life vests, spelling out

embrace unfamiliar cultural traditions. For

U-T-S-A in the water.

others, it pushed them to re-embrace familiar

Physically experiencing places students had

ones. Maria Gonzalez, a UTSA student from

read about brought the slides, lectures and

Mexico, had the unique experience of feeling

readings to life. “It is a completely different experience to be able to see a pyramid in context,” Heditzel Schultz observed. “Some sites are densely packed with buildings, others are much larger and more spacious, but you can’t understand that from a slide.” For Bertha Chavez, a lightbulb went on when she walked upon the elevated roads, or sacbeob, of the ancient Maya, noting that they provided valuable insights about the social stratification

of society and shed light on alliances between neighboring polities. Time in the Yucatan led to new research projects for grads and undergrads alike. At the first stop on our itinerary, Mayapan, Nathan Talamantez found a piece of charcoal from a modern fire which he used to render his sketches for the ruins at that sight. This discovery—the incorporation of local artistic materials in his artwork—led him to seek out natural pigments such as flower petals and earth at other sites. He continues to develop this technique in San Antonio. In addition to appreciating the achievements of one of the world’s most accomplished ancient

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like a visitor in her own country. Alejandro Parra, whose parents are bilingual, longed for the first time to write and speak Spanish fluently. Many students overcame personal obstacles and pushed themselves beyond their comfort levels. All made lifelong friends.

Photos: (Left) Carlos giving a presentation at Ek Balam. (Top) Kat Brown shares her knowledge of the ancient Maya from a temple at Mayapan. (Bottom) Juliet Wiersema lectures from a cenote.

On our last day, hiking around the vast but only partially excavated site of Oxkintok, students discovered secret tunnels and ancient structures covered in vegetation. Their thoughts went back to Catherwood’s drawings of crumbling ruins, sprouting with Caribbean agave. “At every turn I am amazed by how much work remains to be done,” said undergraduate student Carlos Mendez. “Maybe I will be one of the people to do it.”

civilizations, students came to grasp the

Photos: (Left) Alejandro Parra presenting on the Castillo at Chichen Itza. (Top) Group photo at Chichen Itza.

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OVAT ION S

Although it sits a mere 90 miles from Key West, Florida, Cuba has long been a mysterious and exotic island to many people in the United States. Forbidden as a travel destination for Americans since 1960, and branded as our political enemy during that time, Cuba has been out of reach for most U.S. citizens in a way that none of our other neighbors have been. And yet, Cuban influences abound in our country, particularly in the rhythms and energy of the island’s incredible music. As a classical guitarist and jazz musician, much of the music I have played throughout my life has had at least some Cuban influence. In 2000, I spent almost a year working to bring the renowned Cuban composer Leo Brouwer to San Antonio to conduct the San Antonio Symphony as part of the Southwest Guitar Festival. A few years earlier I had had the pleasure of working with, and learning from, the great Cuban jazz pianist Chucho Valdés at a summer festival in Canada. Throughout the years I've admired Cuban guitarists and composers with whom I've become acquainted through recordings and mutual colleagues.

So, when President Obama loosened restrictions on travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens, I knew right away that I would visit the island, and I also knew that I would try to bring a group of UTSA guitar students with me. On March 13 of this year, I and a quartet of guitar students—Abram Fernandez, Ashley Lucero, Daniel Schumacher, and Aaiden Witten— departed San Antonio for a weeklong concert tour of Cuba, where we performed four concerts in three cities over a span of five rigorous days. Our first concert was in Cienfuegos, the birthplace of the Cuban dance genre son, as featured artists for a national guitar festival held in the city annually. Later in

the week we performed in the lovely city of Pinar Del Rio in the Museo de Arte, and finished the week with two concerts in Havana: a collaborative concert with a Cuban guitar orchestra at the Iglesia de Paula in Habana Vieja, and finally a gala performance at the Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura along the famed Malecón in central Havana. Aside from the concerts, we visited guitar programs at Cuban universities and conservatories in all three cities, sharing performances with the amazing Cuban guitar students we met. We also were honored to have a masterclass with Maestro Leo Brouwer, certainly the most important guitaristcomposer of our time, with over 100 recordings of his guitar music

and dozens of highly acclaimed film scores. In a small recital studio packed with spectators (including many of the best guitar students in Cuba), each of our quartet members performed for Maestro Brouwer and received his feedback. Ashley Lucero and Daniel Schumacher had the particular honor of performing their own compositions, which Brouwer enthusiastically praised. This was a life-changing moment for our students. Organizing the trip was a bit daunting, but fortunately we had excellent support from a number of individuals and institutions. The UTSA Office of International Programs provided financial support through two grant programs as well as some useful logistical advice. They funded a preliminary trip to Havana for me in October 2016, which proved to be absolutely crucial in securing the support of Cuba's Centro

Nacional de Música de Concierto. The CNMC arranges special visas required for non-Cuban citizens to give public performances in the country, and controls the booking of government-owned concert venues. The CNMC also provided us with excellent promotion and publicity; there were stories about our tour in Cuban national newspapers, and on radio and TV. The UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the Department of Music provided financial support and assured me early in the planning process that we would have the necessary resources to ensure success. The quartet performed concerts around San Antonio to raise funds for the trip as well as to fine-tune our concert program. We received a donation of 100 sets of guitar strings from the D'Addario company to give to Cuban guitar students, who can't afford to buy goodquality strings. Finally, a wonderful

Cuban guitarist-composer, Eduardo Martín, a leader in Cuba's chamber music world, made the necessary introductions for me at the CNMC, and helped immeasurably with the logistics of the tour.

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However, the true stars of this whole project were our UTSA students, who performed brilliantly, were rewarded with packed halls and standing ovations, and served as excellent ambassadors. Their perspectives on the trip were chronicled in three separate Texas Public Radio features. (Visit tpr. org and search "UTSA Guitar Cuba" to listen to the stories.) Throughout the preparation for the trip and during the tour itself, I was continually reminded of each student’s deep dedication to music and enthusiasm for sharing music with others. Getting to know their peers in a country so different from ours was an incredibly powerful experience for them.

by: Matthew Dunne UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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Through the Mellon Pathways Program, UTSA seeks to

While graduate studies training is open to all juniors, the

develop a network of talented humanities researchers who

UTSA Mellon Program specifically recruits students typically

bring fresh ideas, approaches and perspectives to address

underrepresented in the humanities. Fellowship candidates

the issues and challenges of Latinos in a changing world.

must complete an application that includes two letters of

Humanities researchers who focus on these issues would

recommendation from faculty members familiar with their

be valuable for the economic development of the South

work, an official transcript, and a narrative explaining their

Texas region and for its communities. At a broader level, this

areas of interest, background experiences and motivation to

theme is aligned with the changing demographics of the

pursue graduate studies.

United States.

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In September 2016, the UTSA Mexico Center launched the Mellon Humanities Pathways Program with the goal of encouraging more undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in graduate programs in the wide scope of humanity disciplines. With the current emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, the humanities disciplines have lacked programs that support students interested in pursuing graduate studies. The UTSA Mellon program’s theme is “Latinos in a Changing World,” chosen because Latino culture and experience are the common threads that connect the interdisciplinary humanities research of the faculty members at UTSA who will mentor, instruct and support fellows in the program.

The Mellon Humanities Pathways Program is especially

Over the course of a three-year grant, UTSA will offer

important to The University of Texas at San Antonio, a young,

approximately 36 undergraduate student fellowships, so

four-year institution striving to become a Tier One research

students can learn about humanities research, work as

university. UTSA is a Hispanic-serving institution located

apprentices to UTSA professors conducting humanities

in the largest urban center of the historically underserved

research, visit humanities graduate programs and attend

South Texas region.

professional workshops to prepare for graduate school. Fellows selected for the training program receive a stipend of $4,000, which is disbursed as they participate in and complete the project activities.

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GABRIEL AGUILAR I am here for my family. That’s the short of it, the reason why I ended up in the Mellon Pathways Fellowship. I come from a poor family of four (my mother, my older brother, my younger brother and myself), and my family has given me endless love and support as I explore a new collegiate territory that is as alien to them as it is to me. My mom doesn’t have much, but she has invested every penny she can spare to ensure my success, and I am forever grateful. To give back to her, I want to show her that I can earn a Ph.D. and become a respected professor someday. I am lucky that the Mellon Fellowship noticed the same innate drive for success that has gotten me this far in my academic career. I plan to apply to a Ph.D. program in English with a concentration in rhetoric. For my family, for my

OVAT ION S

EMILY HEMMITT

AMANDA HERNANDEZ

I am currently a first-generation senior majoring

I graduated from the UTSA Honors College in summer 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies. This fall,

in sociology at UTSA. I am the first in my family to attend college and obtain a degree, and it means the world to me and my family. Since becoming a Mellon Humanities Pathway Fellow, I have developed the skills necessary to make me a competitive candidate for graduate programs. I knew coming into the program that I wanted to be a professor, but I had no clue what it took to get there. Mellon has given me the opportunity to shadow a professor, and working with Dr. Saldivar-Hull, I have already learned so

UTSA and being a part of the Mellon Humanities Pathways Fellowship, as well as the McNair Scholar Program, has provided me with many research and presentation opportunities. The mentorship and support I received from UTSA faculty and staff were essential to my successes. My research interests include studying the ways in which U.S. Latinas, women of color, and more broadly, people of color, navigate social institutions, specifically those of higher education, religion and the family. Upon completing my doctoral program, I plan to enter the professoriate where I will continue to mentor other first-generation and “non-traditional” students who are on their way to earning their degrees.

much about the research process. I can see, firsthand, the everyday life of a professor at UTSA. Mellon completely changed my life and my educational trajectory. I know that with the aid of this program and the work I have done so far, I will continue to do great things.

mentors, and for my fellows, I will be successful

MATHEW HINOJOSA As a Chicanx recovering from alcoholism and addiction, I have developed networks and communities at UTSA that have been vital to my own personal and educational success. First to Go and Graduate and G-Force, where I’ve been fortunate to work as a peer mentor, provide an outlet for me to share

in a graduate program.

my experiences and work as a cultural broker for

IRENE ESCOBAR I am majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology at UTSA. After earning my bachelor's degree, I plan to continue my studies by pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. My ultimate career goals include becoming a university professor who researches the relationship of cultural values to mental health and a clinician who delivers psychotherapy in private practice. UTSA has been a second home to me because of all the support I have received as a first-generation student. The Mellon Fellowship at UTSA has not only guided me through the complex process of applying to graduate school, but has also given me the opportunity to conduct research and meet other students with similar backgrounds. I am proud to be part of the Mellon Fellowship and thankful to have such caring coordinators, mentors and Mellon Fellow peers.

PAGE 3 1

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I will begin working towards a Ph.D. in sociology at Baylor University. Completing my undergraduate education at

students entering or already in academia.

AJ MARROQUIN The Department of Mexican American Studies provides the radical intellectual underpinnings that guide my studies. With its beautifully supportive community of faculty and staff, the anthropology department gives me the theoretical and methodological framework through which I carry out my work. With my feet planted in both the community and the academy, I strive for the liberation of addicts, alcoholics and all people of color. After graduation, I plan on finding a doctoral program in Chicanx studies to continue my work with recovery communities.

Having grown up and lived in San Antonio my whole life, I am happy to represent my family and community at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Through school and work experiences both on campus and around the city, I’ve gained a respect for pursuing an academic career not only to engage my research interests but also to support the places and people I come from. As a queer Chicana in higher education, I’m aware of the need for more diversity, not only in university student bodies but also in the curriculum. Through my research on centralizing marginalized narratives

in

canonical

structures,

I hope that other gender, racial and sexual minorities can find themselves represented in academia, and I hope that by pursuing a Ph.D. and professorship, I’ll be able to encourage other minority students to keep participating in critical conversations.

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DARLA MESSINA As a nontraditional student whose parents did not go to college, attending UTSA has been both challenging and immensely rewarding. As a Mellon Fellow, I have been

NICOLE POOLE

afforded the opportunity to gain insight, knowledge and support from university educators, researchers and administrators across the country. Dr. Harriett Romo, Dr.

UTSA and the Mellon Humanities Pathways Fellowship Program

Arturo Sotomayor, Ms. Olivia Mogollon and my Mellon

have been instrumental in showing me how I can best turn my

Fellowship mentor, Dr. Jason Yaeger, have been incredible

dreams into a reality. After working in the corporate world, I

advocates and motivators throughout the Mellon program.

decided to return to school to pursue a career in art education. The level of encouragement and support I have received from

I am an anthropology major with a sociology minor. My focus is archaeology.

UTSA’s Department of Art and Art History and the Mellon

I have two strong research interests at this time. I am learning about

program coordinators have helped me realize my true potential

photogrammetry and 3D modeling of archaeological materials and want to

as an artist and art historian. The unique learning experiences and

create digital applications which will allow a broader audience to experience

networking opportunities I have participated in will allow me to have a

archaeology. I am also exploring gender issues and lack of diversity in U.S.

greater impact on future generations of art and art history students. I

anthropology programs.

knew that returning to school would allow me to change my career, but the time I’ve spent at UTSA and in the Mellon Humanities Pathways Fellowship has enhanced my life in ways I did not think possible.

MONICA PEPPING double major in political science and global

BIANCA PULIDO

affairs with a minor in Latin American

I am a senior in the UTSA Honors College

studies. I want to use my education to become a voice for those unheard and vulnerable

to

human

border, cross-cultural environment.

The

classics with a minor in humanities. Born

rights

violations, particularly in the cross-

and raised in San Antonio,

ERIC PITTY

through my research for my ongoing

English literature with a

thesis, Aging in Mexico: A Case

concentration

Study of U.S. Senior Citizens and

writing. Before attending UTSA, I worked

the Quality of Life in San Miguel de

for several years as an actor, writer and

Allende.

producer of dramatic works for the stage.

Mellon

Fellowship

has

provided

which includes my knowledgeable faculty mentor, preparation for and participation in conferences, opportunities to publish in academic journals, and encouragement and guidance to pursue graduate studies. I am also a member of UTSA’s Honors College, Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society), the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, where I served as Fundraising and Public Relations Officer.

in

a published poet with notable works appearing in the San Antonio ExpressNews and the Texas Observer. In 2013 and 2015, my work was long-listed for the prestigious Fish Publishing Prize in Poetry. I am currently preparing applications for graduate studies programs in English literature and American studies, where I will research contemporary American theater

and

performance,

modernist

literature, and the history of American Shakespearean criticism.

the opportunities I have been given through this

the Top Scholar program

Alongside my theatrical career, I am

fellowship has been emotionally overwhelming for

at UTSA. During my time

a first-generation, working-class, non-traditional

here, I have volunteered,

student like myself.

maintained a 4.0 GPA, spent a summer working with the Prefreshman

Engineering

Program-USA,

traveled

to

The exposure I’ve had to the process of applying Portugal

for

archaeological field school, and taken part in organizations like Students for the Right to Life, of which I am now the vice president. Last year, I joined the Mellon Fellowship, which has helped me prepare for graduate school (especially the GRE) and has provided me with a supportive environment where I can entertain many different possibilities for my future.

was fortunate enough to be recommended and

young professional, the gratitude that I feel for

went on to be a part of

creative

In fall 2016, during my first semester at UTSA, I

Fellowship Program. As an aspiring scholar and

Careers High School and

I am a senior majoring in

VANESSA SANDOVAL

accepted into the Mellon Humanities Pathways

I graduated from Health

I am currently pursuing this goal

me with an important support system,

Ovations 2017 FINAL.indd 32-33

earning a double major in English and

PAGE 3 3

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I am an undergraduate student earning a

to doctoral programs has made me feel confident in finding a program that best suits my research interests. After earning double bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and Mexican American Studies from UTSA, my long-term goals include postdoctoral work and research centered around ethnic studies, Chicana/os in education, the education system, activist anthropology, and the nonprofit sector. I am a proud Roadrunner and UTSA Mellon Humanities Pathways Fellow, and I look forward to being a UTSA alumna.

11/14/17 9:46 AM


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Alumni Profile: Mimi D. Frances

BRINGING FAMILIES TOGETHER RUNS IN THE FAMILY

overlooked, and Mead’s work revealed

that often comes with being a social

name to reduce the amount of work and

how women were historically excluded

worker. She knew she had the passion

increase the likelihood of a match.”

from anthropological studies.

and duty to help others.

After graduating with her Bachelor’s

Mimi went back to UTSA to get her

degree in 1984, Mimi then worked

Master’s in social work, which would

with Dr. Daniel Gelo, now dean of the

help her gain insight into the work she

College of Liberal and Fine Arts, on

did—in addition to her background in

applying for Ph.D. programs, and was

history and anthropology. Realizing that

accepted into the doctoral program at

the work she did with CPS and the ICWA

Southern Methodist University. During

would require more hands on deck,

her time there, Mimi was interested in

Mimi created the space and time for

Though being a social worker has its bad

peer socialization among school

can make up for everything. “Whether it’s connecting one kid or all the kids, every day we do this work, it makes that huge difference to that one kid. This is kind of our credo in the CPS.” And working to help others runs in the family; Mimi’s mother was a social worker, and

found it difficult to apply for grants

– MIMI D. FRANCES

sort of new to focus on children themselves, and not children in relation to how they are parented or raised.” Mimi’s field work focused on how children developed their own identities and interacted with their peers. She was still actively

to go into schools to work with children. One of the complications

her father was in the military. Mimi’s

of doing so was the tendency for the

an internship that would allow others

children she worked with to disclose

to devote more time and attention to

sensitive information like abuse, which

connecting Native American children

then required her to speak out, and her

with their tribes and families. Although

time at a school would be over. Mimi’s

she spent much of the first few months

job required her to be ethical when

manning the helm herself, alongside her

to Sea World with her son, who was four

interacting with different people, and

other responsibilities, Mimi knows that

years old at the time. Instead of being

she learned this from her mother, who

she is making a difference. “I am still the

upset, her son replied that he was glad

was also a social worker.

only person manning the mailbox, but

she was helping another child in more

the workload is manageable. I answer

need than him. Mimi is glad that her

work sometimes interferes with her own family time, but she’s seen how her family still supports her. She recalls a time when she had to cut short a trip

What do you do when the already

correspondence necessary to see all cases

and progress to the Ph.D. level. Before she

emotionally draining, travel-intensive,

handled appropriately is overwhelming,

was an anthropology major, however, she

It was her mother, in fact, that

questions from DFPS staff, ADAs, and

and sometimes heartbreaking work you

and often this delay in communication

was a history major. “I loved my classes,

son can see her make a difference in

encouraged her to work with the CPS.

paralegals. I have testified in court

do isn’t enough for the underrepresented?

took time and valuable information away

but took every elective in anthropology

After moving to a job in a different field,

about my efforts and the ICWA process.

the world, whether it’s going back to

What might you do to improve a delicate

from caseworkers. The solution, for Mimi,

or intercultural studies,” she says, “I

getting married, and having a child,

Caseworkers use the mailbox to send in

system working to bring families together

was to create the space and time necessary

took many history courses that folded

Mimi wanted to work to support her

their ICWA questionnaires. I review them

in that population? For Mimi Frances, the

for caseworkers to devote their attention

into anthropology.” Mimi loved history,

family, but also wanted to work in a

and forward onto the paralegals. I give

answer was to take up the mantle herself

to Native American children to connect

but she found that it came from the

field that fit her passions. Having been

advice based on my experience such as

and create space for those who needed it

them with their heritage and families.

point of view of the colonizers, and she

raised by a social worker, Mimi saw the

the Cherokee Nation traces lineage back

was interested in other perspectives.

difficulties of the job, and how hard her

to ancestors on the Dawes roll while the

most. In her work in CPS (Child Protective

school at a later age, or helping others in need. On the perspective that being a social worker provides, Mimi says, “I’m surrounded by people who care that much about something. On your worst day there is always someone else having a worse day. I’ve never met a person who

Services), Mimi realized that children of

Mimi (Melissa) D. Frances first attended

“Anthropology is much more about the

mother worked to help others. While

Oglala Sioux use blood quantum. I let

Native American tribes were. The Indian

The University of Texas at San Antonio in

people [of different societies] and their

working a particularly disturbing case

everyone know there are 22 federally

didn’t love their children, though they

Child Welfare Act gives tribal governments

the late 80’s, working towards a degree in

day-to-day

interactions,

involving the injury of a child, Mimi

recognized Chippewa tribes and suggest

may show that love in different ways.

a greater role in the process of adoption

Anthropology. She describes herself at the

etc.” When she read Margaret Mead, she

realized she was capable of doing the job

the caseworker seek older relatives

Yet, it’s never not love.”

and

American

time as driven—on a mission to complete

found it a profound experience to see a

and going through the personal conflict

who may be able to give a specific tribe

Children. As such, the communication and

her degree, learn as much as she could,

completely different part of culture that is

protection

of

Native

lives,

social

PAGE 3 5

enrolled at SMU until 2000, but

WHETHER IT’S CONNECTING ONE KID OR ALL THE KIDS, EVERY DAY WE DO THIS WORK, IT MAKES THAT HUGE DIFFERENCE TO THAT ONE KID.

children. “Back then it was still

PAG E 3 4

days, Mimi says that one small victory

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O VAT I O N S

OVAT ION S

Student Profile: Linda McNulty

AN ODYSSEY OF ENRICHMENT: THE INVALUABLE STRENGTH OF COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES This switch in majors led to a dream come true when Linda was invited to study for eight weeks at Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford in fall 2016. In England, she took part in weekly one-on-one tutorials with faculty member Claudia Wagner and attended diverse lectures at the university. Linda says that it is impossible to choose a favorite highlight from the experience, but notes that on the day of her very first tutorial, PAG E 3 6

The gallery houses hundreds of plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman statues and reliefs. Linda recalls that “even though the museum was closed, Dr. Wagner had special access to the archives, so I got a guided tour. I even got to handle the pot fragments, gems and coins that I was studying.” Oxford made the classics come to life in a way Linda hadn’t felt before: She was able to literally hold pieces of history in her hands. Linda credits these incredible experiences to UTSA’s Top Scholar program, guidance and support from COLFA faculty and students, and the McNair Scholars Program. The first gave her the mentorship, financial support and community necessary to tackle higher education. Linda says that “it’s hard to articulate just how much a community of like-minded individuals can do for you. We all talk about each other’s studies and hang out. Everyone’s equally driven. I’m just surrounded by so many people working so hard and doing so many things to support each other in their

at the annual meeting of the Classical

gave her, Linda researches how religions

support for her research inquiries.

Association of the Middle West and

develop, how they influence society, and

Her

South (CAMWS) in Canada.

how they influence each other.

On top of her work in classics, Linda is

Ancient

also pursuing minors in biology and

connected to a bigger world and had a

religious studies. These are her keys to

lot of the issues we deal with today, like

becoming a more effective researcher,

balancing self and community, how to

she says, because “being well-rounded is

live in society, coping with the transition

very important, so you don’t get myopic

between war and peace, and how to deal

or blinded in what you’re studying.”

with being away from home,” Linda

She is grateful for the wide range of

says.

first

professional

conference

was the 2016 COLFA Spring Research Conference,

where

she

presented

her paper, “Rededicating the Hearth: Reexamining

Literary

and

Material

Representations of Hestia,” a subject she is still enthusiastically pursuing “thanks in part to questions from professors and other students attending the says.

conference,” She

she

keeps

her

presenter’s badge tacked onto her bulletin board to remember this engaging experience. Linda’s inclusion in the McNair Scholars Program guidance she needs to

pursue a graduate degree. As a Chicana

electives that the College of Liberal and

motivated to take her education further,

Fine Arts allows because she is able “to

Linda feels lucky to have this community

take classes and interact with professors

of students who “perfectly understand

and students across many departments

the extra difficulties of underrepresented

and disciplines, which has strengthened

students.” On top of visiting graduate

me as a scholar and as a human being.”

programs, participating in professional

Even her biology minor helps expand

development activities and presenting

her views of the ancient world. A course

at research conferences, Linda is able to

on plants and society, for example,

conduct funded summer research. For 30

“actually touches on some work in

or 40 hours a week during the summer

ancient ethnobotany. I’m interested in

semester, she collaborates with other

dipping my toes into that.”

students in study groups and works with UTSA professors on academic projects. In summer 2016, Linda worked with William Short, UTSA associate professor of classics, to complete significant

an even larger role in her research; in particular, it informs her honors thesis on rituals in Homeric epics. Because Linda is interested in religion and rituals

research.

enrolled at UTSA as an English major. But taking a Leadership in the

much more than competition would.”

“Together,

ancient

with anthropology courses, such as

She is especially thankful to Kristi Meyer, director of the Top

perceptions of ambiguity,” she says

one called Ritual and Symbol, helps

about the collaboration. “This project

her develop a working knowledge of

taught me how to properly apply theory

religious theory.

thought, ‘This is fantastic!’ Classical studies included everything I was interested in. I fell in love with the Greek language.” So after just a few short weeks at UTSA, she changed majors to classical studies. Now UTSA’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts, Top Scholar program and McNair Scholars Program support Linda as she explores the connections between ancient culture and today’s world.

Scholar program, for her dedication: “She’s the first person I go to if I’m worried, need help, or if I’m excited about something. If I need something, she’ll make it happen. And she does this for 34 students!” Linda enjoys the service projects, leadership opportunities and friendships she has made in this special multidisciplinary community.

“were

in classical literature, supplementing examined

to my research, and helped me learn to do comparative work — both skills that I now use in my honors thesis.” A year later, she presented the research

Applying

these

This interconnection between cultures, and between religion and culture, is what Linda sees as vital when studying classics: “Looking at things that happened can help us examine what’s going on today in a way that’s more comfortable. There’s a lot of ugly stuff that happens in classical works, like there is today. Studying these works definitely makes me want to be a better person. And I believe it can help humanize people we see as different from ourselves.”

But Linda’s religious studies minor plays

successes and accomplishments. That pushes and motivates me

studies was in high school,” she says. “When I took this class, I

Rome

– LINDA MCNULTY

provides her with the

we

and

LOOKING AT THINGS THAT HAPPENED CAN HELP US EXAMINE WHAT’S GOING ON TODAY IN A WAY THAT’S MORE COMFORTABLE.

As a lover of languages, literature, art and history, Linda McNulty first Ancient World course changed all that: “I didn’t know what classics

Greece

PAGE 3 7

Dr. Wagner took her to the cast gallery in the Ashmolean Museum.

UTSA has also provided Linda with

Linda’s wish to pursue a career in higher education is based on her desire to uplift the underrepresented and create academic communities across disciplines and backgrounds. Her goal after graduating in 2018 is to earn a Ph.D. in classics so she can become a professor and mentor students herself. “UTSA is a very special place for

concepts

to

the

“wonderful insights and guidance for my work” that her two thesis readers, Profs. William Short and Daniel Gelo,

developing into who you want to be, for a better understanding of who you are and where you want to go,” she says, “no matter what discipline you’re in.”

by: Alexis Haight UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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STUDENTS Jose Barragan, a UTSA doctoral student in the department of anthropology, was awarded a grant from the American Philosophical Society. The grant will fund Jose’s dissertation fieldwork in Bolivia, which explores pre-Hispanic corridors of interaction between Andean and Amazonian groups on the last foothills of the Andes in Bolivia. UTSA doctoral student in the department of anthropology Zoe Rawski received a National Geographic Young Explorers grant for her research project “Constructing Power in the Preclassic: Monumental Architecture and Social Complexity at Early Xunantunich, Belize.” Erik Marinkovich, a UTSA doctoral student in the department of anthropology, was awarded a Historically Underrepresented Groups scholarship from the Society for American Archaeology. Only six awards are given each year.

medical humanities student club, has been accepted into the Joint Admissions Medical Program of Texas, which guarantees admission into a Texas medical school. Melina Acosta, a psychology major, was awarded the UTSA Life Awards Most Outstanding Student in both COLFA and the Honors College, and was also named a recipient of the Golden Feather award, which recognizes the top graduating students for their contributions to the university during their undergraduate careers. UTSA guitar students won prizes in international competitions in Dallas and South Carolina this year. Johnny Peña won 2nd prize and Michael Keplinger won 4th prize in the Mountain View College Guitar Festival solo competition; Johnny also won 3rd prize in the Lone Star Guitar Festival and Competition. Ashley Lucero and Jeffery Dunn took 2nd prize in the Southern Guitar Festival competition.

Parnaz Daghighi, a medical humanities major in the department of philosophy and classics and president of the

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OVAT ION S

COLFA Recipients of Spring 2017 Graduate School Excellence Awards

health institutions honored with this prestigious annual award.

Excellence in Research

Scott Sherer, professor in the department of art and art history and director of the UTSA art gallery, has won the 2016 Mid-America College Art Association Lifetime Outstanding Academic Achievement Award.

Reed DeAngelis, Master of Arts, Sociology Excellence in Teaching Brooke Balbuena, Master of Arts, Music Excellence in Graduate Advising Andrea Aleman, Graduate Advisor of Record FACULTY Mary McNaughton-Cassill, professor in the department of psychology, is a recipient of a 2017 Piper Professor Award. The award annually recognizes 10 college professors in Texas for their academic, scientific and scholarly achievement. Jill Fleuriet, associate professor in the department of anthropology, is a recipient of a 2017 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Texas System. She is among 56 educators from UT System’s 14 academic and

Laura Eichelberger, faculty in the department of anthropology, has received an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship to write her forthcoming book, Spoiling and Sustainability: Water Insecurity, Health, and Indigenous Citizenship in Northwest Alaska. Anthropology professor Robert Hard was named a National Geographic Explorer and will receive a $20,000 grant from the National Geographic Society to excavate an ancient archaeological site in southeastern Arizona. Ali Kanso El-Ghori, professor in the department of communication, received the Public Relations Society of America’s Tex Taylor Lifetime

Achievement Award. Kanso El-Ghori is an internationally recognized public relations expert, the author of 40 refereed articles, 11 book chapters and numerous essays. Harriett Romo, professor of sociology, received the 2017 Education Headliner Award presented by the San Antonio Professional Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications. The organization honors outstanding community leaders who have made exceptional contributions in professional, volunteer and civic areas. COLFA Recipients of UTSA University Excellence Awards 2017 President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence Nazgol Bagheri, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Geography President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Core Curriculum Teaching Sonia Alconini, Associate Professor of Anthropology

President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Performance, Creative Production, or Other Scholarly Achievement

PAGE 3 9

PAG E 3 8

O VAT I O N S

Ethan Wickman, Associate Professor of Music President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for University Service Gregg Michel, Associate Professor of History President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Advancing Globalization Jason Yaeger, UTSA President’s Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology

DEPARTMENT Eduniversal, a Paris-based global ranking agency specializing in higher education, has ranked the Master of Arts in Communication program the No. 24 best in the U.S. and Canada.

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O VAT I O N S

English

Music

Critical Survey of American Literature, 6 volumes, third edition, Steven G. Kellman, editor, Salem Press, 2016

Landmarks, Matthew Dunne, ed. David Russell, Doberman-Yppan, 2017 Landmarks is a multi-movement composition for classical guitar that combines three musical traditions: jazz, Spanish nationalism, and Scottish reel.

Modern Languages and Literatures

Persuading with Numbers, A Primer for Engaging Quantitative Information, Sue Hum, Kona Publishing & Media Group, 2017

Man Facing Southeast (1986), written and directed by Eliseo Subiela. Nancy J. Membrez, contributor. Kino Lorber, 2016. (DVD/Blu-Ray)

A practical primer designed to help communicators and writers in technical, professional and scientific fields develop skills in reading, researching, writing, and visualizing quantitative information. readers to over forty thought leaders in biological anthropology.

Three 20-minute filmed featurettes (director Eliseo Subiela, director of photography Ricardo De Angelis, and protagonist Hugo Soto); revised movie subtitles; subtitles for the featurettes;1500-word essay on the movie and the director; and translation of the director's statement.

Far Out, Wendy Barker and Dave Parsons, co-editors, Wings Press, 2016

Political Science

A collection of poems dealing with the 1960s.

Language Contact in Europe: The Periphrastic Perfect through History, Bridget Drinka, Cambridge University Press, 2017 This comprehensive new work provides extensive evidence for the essential role of language contact as a primary trigger for change.

History The Latina/o Midwest Reader, Omar Valerio-Jiménez, Santiago VaqueraVásquez, and Claire F. Fox, coeditors, University of Illinois Press, 2017 A collection of interdisciplinary essays that explore issues of history, education, literature, art, politics and place making among Latinas/os in the U.S. heartland.

From Inclusion to Influence, Latino Representation in Congress and Latino Political Incorporation in America, Walter Clark Wilson, University of Michigan Press, 2017 This book addresses the political incorporation of Latinos in America.

Political Science Multinationale Unternehmen in der Weltpolitik, Zur Kontingenz von Rolle und Bedeutung ‘sozialer Akteure’(Multinational Enterprises in World Politics. On the Contingency of Role and Meaning of ‘Social Actors’), Matthias Hofferberth, Nomos, 2016 This book considers multinational enterprises and their role in world politics in terms of their social, creative and ultimately contingent acts of interpreting reality and responding to corporate crises.

PAGE 4 1

PAG E 4 0

This book offers profiles of major U.S. and Canadian writers from all periods, accompanied by analyses of their significant works of fiction, drama, poetry and nonfiction.

OVAT ION S

It began as more of a consultation. Dan Gelo had discovered an article in German about the Comanches and their relationship to the Shoshones and Apaches. It was written in 1851 by Heinrich Berghaus, a geographer with a wide range of interests, and included an original list of 366 Comanche words and their German translations, an account of Comanche customs and traditions, and a previously unknown map of Comanche hunting grounds. These three components came to Berghaus from a young German settler in Texas who lived for several months with the Comanches as part of a treaty deal between the German settlers in the Fredericksburg area and Comanche headmen. In the late 1990s, Dan asked Heide Castañeda, an anthropology graduate student from Germany, to draft a translation of Berghaus’s article into English. Over the years, Dan and I talked off and on about the importance

of the article, both for Comanche studies and for the study of German immigration to Texas. Later, we decided that the discipline of anthropology needed to have a published English translation of the article because the existing scholarship on this topic had overlooked Berghaus’s work. It was clear that scholars of German immigration to the U.S. would be interested as well. A scholarly article, co-authored by Dan Gelo and me, and built around a reliable translation, seemed like a reasonable project. As work progressed, the article idea morphed by stages into a full-fledged book, so that by the time we had followed the trails that our research leads opened up, we had a 350-page manuscript. The book provides an extensive, detailed commentary on Berghaus’s article in the context of German immigration to Texas and the development of ethnographic and

anthropological studies in the U.S. It also examines each of the Comanche words in the word list and discusses the meaning ascribed to them. This project has been a truly exciting cross-disciplinary collaboration over the past four years. I conducted research in archives in Munich, Potsdam and Gotha, Germany. Together Dan and I have enjoyed field trips to Texas Hill Country locations that are important for our work, and we have both benefited from the stimulation of the other’s discipline and insight. Just as the book that has emerged from this project goes well beyond the modest article that we originally envisioned, so the collaboration itself has far exceeded my expectations in the collegiality, fascinating discovery, productive exchange of ideas, personal and scholarly growth—and sheer good fun— that has come with it.

by Christopher J. Wickham UTSA: COLLEGE OF LIBERAL AND FINE ARTS

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The University of Texas at San Antonio One UTSA Circle San Antonio, TX 78249-0641

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Permit # 2474 Austin, TX

INSPIRING

Hiromi Stringer MFA Candidate

C R E AT I V E

MINDS

The tiny UFO says "Whale, I am a seagull", 2016, Gouache on paper, 12 x 18 inches